Stylistically significant features of News Paper Reporting are the Unique features and techniques used by the News reporters in order to communicate with the public. These unique features defferentiate the News Papers from the rest of other literatures or other documents.
For instance, in the News paper Reporting, at the headline there is always big bold printed letters which carry the issue of the day. The bold type big-printed letters are designed so inorder to catch and appeal <+_to> both the senses and the attention of the reader. It further makes the topic easily seen.
In the News Paper Reporting the headline always <-_appear><+_appears> <-_in><+_on> the font page and not otherwise or elsewhere. Similarly <-_in><+_on> the same front page, especially <-_in><+on> the left hand-side there <-_is><+_are> always editorial comments which similarly speak to the whole public about the issue of the day. In other words, editorial comments deal with what is currently taking place in the society. For instance when you look <-_on><+_at> the above article i.e. a piece of News paper reporting given to us, we see that the headline is printed bigger and darker than the rest of other contents. (African economies getting sicker). This is made so inorder to achieve 'eye catch effect' as the issue of the day.
It should however be known that any news paper Reporting has two main functions or aims. The first aim is to inform the audiance and the public as a whole about what is taking place in the society or in other societies elsewhere. The second aim of the news paper is to entertain the audiance in respect of short plays, stories, catoons etc. But inorder for any news paper to accomplish the function in which it was designed for, there must bear <&/>grammar some features which constantly defferentiate it from the rest of other literatures like books, journals, periodicals etc.
Now at this very juncture, let us see in much details <&/>grammar what the features are, as they are normally being used by several News Reporters. Reporters do not only write in the News Papers as one writes his or her friendly letter, but have to abide to these rules. David Crystal and Derek Davy (1969: 173) put this forward <-_as><+_by> saying: "Journalese; like jargon; and a few other pseudo-descriptive terms, is a label which seems to have a clear cut sense until we begin to look closely at the way it tends to be used."
These features are so many, and they include graphatic, grammatic and vocabulary/lexical <&/>grammar.
Graphatic and graphological variation is part and parcel of any News paper reporting. These are the most noticeable features of stylistic importance. When we speak of graphatic features <+_what> we mean are the whole necessary features which a news paper <-_bear><+_bears> inorder to be called so. We are very much interested in how the size of the whole paper is utilized.
The graphatic features include the news headline which is always printed in big size darker letters. This helps to catch the attention and rises interests <&/>idiom of the readers. How? It does so because the headline has to contain a clear intriguing message which <-_kindle><+_kindles> a spark of interest in the readers' potentials by means of catching the attention and appealing <+_to> the senses. This is being brought about by the ful range of graphetic contrasts.
The contrasts are advocated by the use of bold, high, heavy, lower case italic letters and the italic capitals as reminders.
Under graphatic variations, we have also paragraphing. This is the way in which the narrative as a whole is split into smaller units. These include subheadings in the centre of the columns which usually are the main distinctive features of any news paper reporting. In other words, we can say paragraphing is the lay-out on how the whole text is broken into small para of small lines and few words of at least one sentence each. The para may have some sub-headings which aid readability and legibility. Usually the first para may be of larger - blacker type than all the rest. eg. 'Addi Ababa' (from the text).
Under graphatic features there is also the use of other features like inverted commas, parantheses , dashes etc. Inverted commas are used where there is direct quotation, or where there is a casual use of some words. For instance, from the text we have "free market economy". There is also the use of parantheses . Parantheses are used to substitude words by giving them more meanings in order to avoid ambiguities.
Similarly, dashes are used to link expansion of thoughts with the main part of the sentence. Commas are not extensively used in this respect, in order to avoid disturbing the tempo.
Another stylistic feature of the news paper reporting, is that language is always factual, ie factual information and it fully indicates the place where the information originates from. For instance in our case the information is originating <&/>grammar/aspect from Addis-Ababa.
Moreover the news paper reporting similarly shows the writer who wrote the article. In our case, the article of "African economies getting sicker" is written by Anaclet Rwegayura.
Date is also of great importance for any news paper reporting because it makes the audiance know when the issue in question took place. When we look at the article we become aware that it took place in 1991. Let us see the quotation below from the text.
"Africa's economic performance in 1991, says the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) turned out to be rather poor and disapointing ".
As we have seen some of the stylistically significant features of the news paper reporting, let us now look the same aspect <-_under><+_at> <+_article> grammatical level. At this juncture we are very much interested in the way <-_of><+_in> which words are governed and used under grammatical rules.
To start with, <-_in><+_at> the grammatical level, headlings are different and seperate from the rest of the text. That is because there is omission of auxilliaries and 'verbs to be'. Due to this omission of tense markers headings look in a more telegraphic manner <&/>idiom. Hence ambiguities may arise in the headlines (headings). For instance the headline of the text reads :
African economies <-_are> getting sicker'
instead of African economies are getting sicker.
The tense marker 'are' is deliberately omitted inorder to save the space in the paper.
In the respect of paragraphs under the headline, sentences are grammatically constructed characterized by the use of coordinators and subordinators. Sentences are clear and unambiguous.
Because of subordination, coordination and to avoid ambiguities, sentences are long and self expressive. For instance, in the text there are 20 paragraphs, which a big number of them <&/>grammar are only composed <-_with><+_of> one sentence, except in the nineth, eleventh, and fourteen paragraphs where there are two to three sentences.
e.g of long sentences: Para 5.
"Inadiquate basic sectoral studies, weakness in implementation of investment policies, communication problems and defects in balance payment are among reasons cited by the country's economic experts for the failure of the plan".
Normally such sentences are statements, and the length of the sentence depends upon what someone wants to say and how to say it.
The use of adverbials are extremely common in news paper reporting. Adverbials of place and time are predominantly used so <-_as><+_that> the reader <-_could><+_can> be explicit of where (place) and when (time) about a certain action.
eg. Para 1. "Addis Ababa - NEARLY all African economies are literally sick ----- according to the economic experts meeting here."
Apart from the features operating at sentence level and between sentences, we should also note some distinctive features operating within the nominal and verbal group. There is a presence of much more complex pre- and postmodification. There is also a tendency of introducing adjectives where possible, to add detail and colour to a story.
eg. Para 4. "... five years of social economic reconstruction ...
(Both pre- and postmodification)
Para 11. In the social sector, health, education and employment were the worst hit.
(The use of adjective).
Other features include the subject relation to the verb which is SP (Subject predicate)
- the use of simple past tense when reporting
- the use of modal auxilliaries
- the active voice is usually used when reporting
At the level of vocabulary the news paper reporting has similarly these stylistically significant features. Some of the features under vocabulary include the following :
* Vocabulary used are in most cases of standard language. Colloquial words and slangs are avoided.
* There is a great deal of word-formation, like compounding, abbreviation, blending, acronyms, cliping
eg. socio-economic - compound in Para 4.
I.M.F. Abbreviation in Para 3
ECA Acronymy in Para 12.
GNP Abbreviation - Para 14
* There is great inventiveness especially compounding.
* There is use of emphatic extracts or absolute word .
* Often unusual collation especially in the headline, done deliberately to catch the eye.
* Proper nouns are capitalized eg. Addi-Ababa in para 1.
It should however be known that, in most cases the language of the news paper reporting is standard, but not always. There are cases where the language may not be formal, and instead may be colloquial, informal, slang etc. depending on the type of audiance .
Therefore, the stylistically significant features of <-_of> News Paper Reporting are nothing more but are those features which distinguish a news paper from other types of literatures. The features include graphatic, grammatical and vocabulary features as they are illustrated above from the text.
On the other hand, let us suppose that I have attended the meeting convened in this text as a government official and not as a journalist. The report to the government would have been as follows :
A REPORT ON THE MEETING HELD AT ADDIS-ABABA, ETHIOPIA ABOUT AFRICAN ECONOMIES IN CRISIS. JUNE 20-25, 1991
The continent's economic experts which met in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa last June this year, have said African economies are literally sick and the hope for recovery entirely depends on the performance of the global economy. According to the deligates , they said prescription given by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank under structural adjustment programmes has not given relief to the economies. This is because the I.M.F. and the World Bank has not proven to deliver to the public reliable services like food, shelter, medical care and education for the majority.
The experts have also found that five years of of social economic revival in Zaire have an average of 1.1 annual growth rate from 1986. This is because of some inadequate basic sectoral studies, weakness in implimentation of investment policies and communication problems which have defects in balance of payments. The experts cited this example to be one of the failures of these countries economic plan.
A Zairen deligate told the meeting that there is great imbalances <&/>grammar between consumer goods, capital goods and the private sector lacked resources for recovery.
Damas Mbogoro of Tanzania's National Planning Commission told the conference that each country has its own individual problems of development which have first to be analysed at both micro and macro levels. According to him African problems require home solutions and external assistance.
The Conference learnt that Africa's economic growth rate in 1991 is 2.3 per-cent as compared with 3.2 percent in 1990. The population growth was three percent. <+_article> > Social sector is the most affected.
According to ECA, external factors provide no support to African economies. In 1991, the trade suffered heavily from economic recession in industrialized countries resulting <-_for><+_in> the fall of demand of African exports in the world market. The price for the whole <+_of> African commodities dropped by 2.8 billion dollars compared to 1990.
The external debt which is one of the major impediments of African economies <&/>grammar. It is estimated that 275 billion dollars, constitute 72 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and claims <&/>grammar 25 percent of exporting earnings to service the debt.
The experts said ECA as the Continent's economic organ have to find more imaginative ways inorder to help African economies improved and competative <&/>grammar. It must be characterized by powerful trading blocs and good policies.
The ECA acting Executive Secretary Issa Dialo <-_have><+_has> said that there is a need to promote economic co-operation and integration among African states in order to get rid of these economic problems. He stressed that African states and governments have to ensure <+_article> effectiveness of their public sectors in promoting economic and social programmes which mainly fall in the public sector.
According to the ECA chief all countries should aim at striking a balance between food production, population growth, human settlements and the enviroment. African Economic Ministers and their experts at the conference see the enviroment question as much related to their countries external debt burden.
The government report differs greatly from the article in many aspects. Normally the heading of the government is too long as compared to the article. For instance the heading of the article reads: "African economies getting sicker", while the heading of the report (government) reads : "A report on the meeting held at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia about African economies in crisis, June 20 - 25, 1991."
Another difference between the two is that in the government report, the names of the deligates who attended the meeting appear at the beginning, while in the article they usually appear at the end.
In the government report, flowery language, phrases etc. are avoided, while in the article all these can be used.
Vocabulary in the government <-_are><+_is> formal, simple and clear. There <-_is><+_are> no ambiguities. There <-_is><+_are> no quotations. The article may have all these in its <-_contents>+_content>.
The report, similarly does not abide with all stylistically significan features of the news paper reporting. Some features are left out. Predicate Subject order and adverbials do not appear at the beginning of the sentence or paragraph. In the article this takes place in the beginning.
eg. "In Zaire...."
Thus, <-_this><+_these> are some of the stylistically significant features which make a government report differ from an article.
<&/> L.R.Lengare Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics, University of Dar es Salaam.
<&/> Question: (a) What do you understand by the stylistically significant features of News Paper Reporting? As far as possible draw examples from the text to illustrate your answer.
(b) To write a government report basing on what have been covered in the meeting. The report should be written as a government officer and not as a journalist.
(c) To comment briefly on how the report differs from the article.